This story begins with Globe Without Goodbye – The Shore (1). To access installments in narrative sequence, click on an entry title, then click on “Next” at the end of that installment.
“You’re coming with me, Nadja. I’m going to get lonely out there. This is a lonely place. I’ll need someone to talk to. Brace yourself, I’m picking you up again.” Jeffrey set about figuring out the best way to transport the doll. Carrying Nadja with his hands would get cumbersome. He took his shirt off, feeling embarrassed as he remembered Nadja’s recent taunt about his potbelly. Nobody said things like that to him in Illinois. How long had Nadja-the-doll sat next to Nadja-the-skeleton? Death could probably make lots of people lose their social graces. He bunched the bottom of his shirt together and knotted it against itself to make a crude sack. The fabric had been comfortable on his torso, but without a sun in the sky or air current he had not summoned himself, he didn’t need protection from the environment. “Hey, Nadja,” he thought-beamed in her general direction, “Is there ever a sun here? What about stars? Where does the light come from? How do I see?”
“Shut up, frog-man,” came the tired response. “This is the world between worlds. What you see is what you get, here. You ask too many questions to last very long in my home. Make your choice. Pick your world. You bore me.”
“How can I make this choice you keep talking about, when I only know about the world I came from? What is my other choice?”
“Who knows? Who cares?” Nadja sounded even more tired. “The vortex probably knows. Ask it when we get there.”
“So you’re resigned to coming with me, then?”
“It will be a long walk from the village back to my cave, and these legs were made to sit, not stand, but I will manage. It will be worth it to make absolutely sure that you have left.”
“Oh yeah?” He picked the book up from where he had dropped it. “You’ve got a pretty smart mouth, for a doll.” He jammed the book into the left rear pocket of his jeans. “The people where I come from would be fascinated by a telepathic doll. What if I decide to take you with me?”
As he lifted Nadja and slipped her through his shirt’s neck-hole, her thoughts sounded determined. “Don’t do that. Your world would kill me. There’s no room for magic there.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” he beamed back to her, checking to make sure the fabric would hold her weight. It stretched a little. Not a permanent solution, but acceptable. He tied the sleeves together and hung the makeshift sack around his neck, figuring that attempting to carry Nadja on his back would stress his throat. Not that he needed a voice to talk to his companion now anyway.
Thank you for reading! Coming up next week: Jeffrey learns a little bit more about Aum as he and Nadja travel back down the shore.
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